I was standing in line. It led past a casket. I was at the end of the line, talking with the funeral director. I asked him how things were going.
For them, life is busy. Several funerals a day for the past few days. “When the temperature drops, deaths increase.” During the summer, activity was slow.
That’s been the case in our church. Seven deaths in the last 6 weeks. No one thing, no pattern. But many tears.
And with the markets falling, according to my friend, deaths are up as well. There are some suicides happening among comparatively younger people.
“In the moment, they don’t see an alternative.”
My friend Rob is all about alternatives. As other people are despairing in the moment, he’s celebrating. Yesterday, Thursday, he turned 38. That’s longer than his dad lived. That’s longer than his granddad lived.
Because Rob has known how short life is, he has poured life into his wife, into his children. He pours life into a not-for-profit in Portland, Maine. He cares little about turning dollars into dollars and more about turning them into hope for kids who need hope that looks like love, role models, attention, touch.
When you talk to Rob, his eyes and heart have an intensity, a desire to absorb and work through and understand and pass on.
Some people, realizing the brevity of life, live it broadly. They have as many experiences as they can, walking as close to the edge as they can. Others have as much as experience as they can, living deeply for others. When the market crashes for the former, they see the end to their experience options and despair. When the market crashes for the latter, they live deeper.
When I think about return on investment, the latter are richer, and so is their legacy.